In a year in which most hockey prognosticators--this writer included--picked Ottawa to finish near the bottom, if not dead last in the Eastern Conference, the Senators fashioned one of the more surprising stories of the 2011-12 NHL season, finishing 8th overall in the East and taking the NY Rangers to Game 7 of the first round of the playoffs, eventually losing 2-1 in the deciding match.
Probably the most important reason for Ottawa's success was head coach Paul MacLean. In his first year of being a head coach, MacLean was a breath of fresh air in Canada's capital. He communicated with his players, was able to get everyone on the same page early in the season, and he installed a system that was fun to play with an emphasis on puck possession, speed, and skill. You've reached the end of our free article preview.
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